By: Warren Nunn
Abortion polling shows Queenslanders clearly don’t want the existing laws changed.
Cherish Life Queensland Executive Director Teeshan Johnson told 96five’s Timothy Charles the Bill was extremely unpopular, citing an online poll.
“Only six percent of Queenslanders agree with abortion up to birth,” she said.
That was one of the radical proposals contained in the Termination of Pregnancy Bill due for debate in State Parliament next month.
Ms Johnson encouraged people to contact their State MP about the Bill because their voice was important.
The Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018 summary
The proposed Bill includes the following provisions:
- Abortion up to 22 weeks for any reason – no questions asked (it’s called “on request”)
- Abortion from 22 weeks up until birth based on ambiguous and loose criteria including “social” reasons
- Sex-selective abortion would be legal
- Doctors with conscientious objection must refer for abortion and therefore be complicit in the outcome of an abortion.
- There are no safeguards for women considering abortion – safeguards like independent counselling, informed consent conditions (including the risks of an abortion) plus cooling-off periods.
- Abortion would be performed in public hospitals and therefore for free
- 150 metre exclusion zone around abortion clinics
Very scary abortion options
Ms Johnson said the “very scary” Bill would make sex-selection legal. “One of the terrible consequences of legalising abortion on request to 22 weeks gestation is it would be legal to abort a female baby, just for being a girl,” she said.
Queenslanders were being told that women were being treated as criminals for wanting an abortion.
That was not the case, she said. “It’s very easy to get an abortion; women don’t even need a doctor’s referral. So it’s not highly regulated by any stretch of the imagination.”
She encouraged people to sign petitions, get involved in talking about the Bill on social media or even write a letter to the editor.
“Remember, your voice is important to your MP.”
“If everyone’s silent then nothing happens; everyone’s voice matters.”
She encouraged people to visit cherishlife.org.au for resources.
About the author: Warren Nunn has been a journalist for more than 40 years. For 27 years until 2013, he worked at Queensland’s main daily newspaper The Courier-Mail.